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2014 Vacqueyras Rouge “Cuvée de Lopy”

Domaine le Sang des Cailloux

2014 Vacqueyras <i>Rouge</i> “Cuvée de Lopy” Domaine le Sang des Cailloux - Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant

At a recent party, Kermit showed up with a goody bag of aged wines pulled from his cellar. Thirsty guests gathered round as corks began to pop, while outstretched arms holding empty glasses rapidly inundated the new focus of attention.

Amid a stellar lineup of old treasures from the cellar, the standout wine of the night was, by general consensus, a 1998 Vacqueyras “Lopy” from Sang des Cailloux. An elegant beast laden with notes of leather, smoke, Provençal herbs, and game, the bottle was rapidly drained. Most fascinating was the texture–smooth and rounded yet dense and weighty, not unlike the galets roulés stones that cover the surface of the vineyard.

“Lopy” represents the domaine’s oldest vines of Grenache and Syrah, and the 2014 boasts a similar balance to that outstanding 1998. Today it is thick, chewy, and almost bloody, loaded with ripe black cherry and spicy garrigue. Years from now, I imagine it, too, will display the stunning complexity of the 1998, able to stand tall among a lineup of old Bandol and Châteauneuf.

Anthony Lynch

$53.00
Vintage: 2014
Bottle Size: 750mL
Blend: 75% Grenache, 25% Syrah
Appellation: Vacqueyras
Country: France
Region: Southern Rhône
Producer: Domaine le Sang des Cailloux
Winemaker: Serge Férigoule
Vineyard: 55 to 65 years, 4 ha
Soil: Clay, Limestone, scattered with galets roulés
Aging: Parcels are aged separately in 450-L barrels
Farming: Organic (practicing)
Alcohol: 14%

More from this Producer or Region

About Southern Rhône

The southern Rhône valley is Grenache country. It’s also known for its stones. With a viticulture history dating back well before the Popes arrived in the 12th century and one of France’s oldest appellations d'origine contrôlée, Châteauneuf-du-Pâpe, the southern Rhône is unquestionably one of France’s best known and premier winegrowing regions. The wines have the pedigree and age-worthiness of Burgundy and Bordeaux, but with a rustic, Mediterranean character. Like most wines from southern France, the reds, whites, and rosés are blends. Filling out the Grenache for the reds and rosés, you’ll often find Syrah, Carignan, Mourvèdre, and Cinsault. The common white grape varieties are Grenache Blanc, Clairette, Bourboulenc, Viognier, Roussane, and Marsanne among others. From the alluvial riverbed stones found in Lirac, Tavel, and Châteauneuf to the limestone cliffs of the Dentelles de Montmirail that influence Beaumes-de-Venise (where you’ll find excellent Muscat), Vacqueyras, and Gigondas, great terroir abounds.

Kermit’s entrance in the region came in the mid 1970s on his first trip with Richard Olney, an American ex-pat and friend of Alice Waters. On that trip, Richard introduced Kermit to the Brunier family of Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe. Soon after, Kermit began importing the Brunier’s wines—their Châteauneuf-du-Pape “La Crau” bottling remains a staple of our portfolio today. In the late 1990s Kermit teamed up with the Brunier family to purchase the famed Gigondas estate, Domaine Les Pallières. More than 40 years later, we now import wines from fifteen southern Rhône domaines spanning the entire area of the region.

More from Southern Rhône or France

2015 Gigondas “Les Racines”

Les Pallières  France  |  Southern Rhône  |  Gigondas

$40.00

2016 Côtes-du-Rhône “Sierra du Sud”

Domaine Gramenon  France  |  Southern Rhône  |  Côtes-du-Rhône

$35.00

2014 Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise

Domaine de Durban  France  |  Southern Rhône  |  Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise

$16.00

2012 Côtes du Vivarais

Domaine Gallety  France  |  Southern Rhône  |  Côtes du Vivarais

$29.00

2016 Côtes-du-Rhône “L’O de Joncier”

Domaine du Joncier  France  |  Southern Rhône  |  Lirac

$17.00

2014 Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise

Domaine de Durban  France  |  Southern Rhône  |  Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise

$27.00

2014 Vacqueyras Rouge “Cuvée Doucinello”

Domaine Le Sang des Cailloux  France  |  Southern Rhône  |  Vacqueyras

$34.00

2016 Côtes-du-Rhône Rouge “Il Fait Soif”

Maxime-François Laurent  France  |  Southern Rhône  |  Côtes du Rhône

$26.00

2016 Vin de Pays de Vaucluse Rouge

Domaine de Durban  France  |  Southern Rhône

$11.00

2015 Gigondas “Terrasse du Diable”

Domaine Les Pallières  France  |  Southern Rhône  |  Gigondas

$40.00

2016 Côtes-du-Rhône “Poignée de Raisins”

Domaine Gramenon  France  |  Southern Rhône  |  Côtes-du-Rhône

$27.00

2014 Lirac “Le Classique”

Domaine du Joncier  France  |  Southern Rhône  |  Lirac

$25.00

Trust the great winemakers, trust the great vineyards. Your wine merchant might even be trustworthy. In the long run, that vintage strip may be the least important guide to quality on your bottle of wine.—Kermit Lynch

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